–The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell looks at what Christmas gifts each team could use this holiday season. From a Giant stuffed unicorn to a Play-Doh Hungry Hippos Playset, this article has gift suggestions you probably haven’t even heard of. (The Hockey News)
–The New York Post gives us a deeper look into the Rangers’ prospect pool. Most of their best young players are already on the roster, but the team’s scouting staff believes they’ve found some gems in the later rounds of drafts. Goalie prospect Igot Shestyorkin has drawn some comparisons to Henrik Lundqvist. (New York Post)
–NHL.com takes a look at the top 16 moments from 2016, including P.K. Subban imitating Jaromir Jagr, the passing of Gordie Howe and a historic day of trades over the summer. Looking back, this year’s been filled with a lot of great stories. (NHL)
–NHL referee Tim Peel is excited to take part in next week’s Winter Classic. He’s also doing something special for a pair of police officers that were hurt in the line of duty. “I was flying home from Phoenix reading about the officers that were injured in the line of duty and how they became close friends because they were both rehabbing in Denver. I read that article and I came home and said to my wife, ‘I need to do something for them,'” said Peel. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
–Most hockey fans would agree that Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Mario Lemieux and Gordie Howe are the top four players in NHL history, but where does Jaromir Jagr rank? Is he the fifth-best player in league history? Sports Illustrated makes an interesting case for Jagr. (Sports Illustrated)
–Former NHL forward Nathan Gerbe scored a pretty ridiculous shootout goal in the Swiss League the other day. You’ve gotta see this:
McDavid scored a goal and two assists, yet Ryan Getzlaf was right there with him with three assists, helping the Ducks win 4-3.
With that, Anaheim is clearly ahead of Edmonton for second in the Pacific. The Ducks would hold home-ice over the Oilers if the playoffs began today, and better yet for them, a division title isn’t out of the question:
1. Sharks – 91 points in 73 games played
2. Ducks – 89 points in 73 GP
3. Oilers – 87 points in 73 GP
4. Flames – 86 points in 73 GP
As you can see, the Oilers aren’t exactly far ahead of the Flames for third, either.
Going forward, the Oilers have an interesting schedule: a mix of games against cellar dwellers (two apiece against the Canucks and Avalanche) plus two games apiece versus the Kings and Sharks.
The Ducks’ schedule includes two matches against the Flames, one against the Kings and one more match at Edmonton on April 1.
Long story short, the jockeying for position is far from over, but this was a pretty significant win for the Ducks.
Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)
Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.
Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.
McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).
The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.
They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.
The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.
Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.
The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.
The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.
Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style